Mobile App Helps Public Keep an Eye on Toxic Neighbors

Share Article

Groundbreaking Application Reveals Data on Toxic Chemical Plants. "MyRight-to-Know" is a new mobile application that offers easy access to information regarding the location of chemical facilities, the toxins they release and the health impact those toxins may have. The application was designed by Abt Associates for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Abt Associates is a global leader in health, environmental and social policy research and program implementation.

The new myRTK app offers easy access to information on toxic chemical facilities in your neighborhood.

"MyRTK will be a very useful resource for consumers, realtors, state and EPA inspectors, environmental advocacy groups, teachers, and many others interested in their environment."

If you’ve ever wondered how close your home or office is to a chemical facility and if the toxins it is releasing might impact your health, answers can be as close as your smartphone. A pioneering mobile application known as My Right-to-Know (myRTK), designed and developed for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by Abt Associates, can enable you to easily access this information. All you need is a Web-enabled mobile device.

The MyRTK application, engineered by the Bethesda firm, a global leader in health, environmental and social policy research and program implementation, launches with a map or list of facilities in close proximity to the mobile device, or near an address identified by the user. An easy-to-comprehend, graphically rich interface is used to simplify fairly complex information, including the facilities' locations, relative size, chemical releases and their possible health effects, and a record of compliance with U.S. environmental laws. The Google-serviced maps are complemented with street and satellite views. The application includes suggestions of what mobile users might do next, such as report a potential violation from their device using a link to EPA's enforcement office. MyRTK can be viewed at http://myrtk.epa.gov/info/.

“MyRTK will be a very useful resource for consumers, realtors, state and EPA inspectors, environmental advocacy groups, teachers, and many others interested in their environment,” said Andrew Stoeckle who managed the evolution of the application.

Stoeckle who is vice president, principal associate and scientist at Abt Associates, said “People who are inquisitive about what chemicals might be present in areas where they live and work can now pull out their smartphones and access this data on the spot.”

“The design, quality of content, functionality, and usability of the mobile application demonstrates how federal agencies are working to improve their communications with individual citizens,” Stoeckle added.

MyRTK can run on a range of browsers, but the navigation, content, and functionality are optimized for information dissemination through mobile devices. In addition, the platform allows for other facility and place-based information to be added in the future.

The myRTK application displays:

  •     A map identifying the facilities handling toxic chemicals in the selected area.
  •     A list of facilities by name.
  •     Street and satellite views of the facility for visual identification.
  •     Information describing the business and size of each facility.
  •     A summary of each facility's toxic chemical releases.
  •     A description of known health effects, including cancer and 17 other impacts, for each chemical.
  •     A history of the facility's compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of environmental and social policy, health, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates was ranked as one of the top 25 global research firms in 2010. The employee-owned company has seven offices in the U.S. and program offices in nearly 40 countries. http://www.abtassociates.com.

EDITORS/REPORTERS
To arrange an interview with Andrew Stoeckle, please contact Mary Maguire at 301-347-5859 or mary_maguire(at)abtassociates(dot)com.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Mary Maguire

301-347-5859
Email >
Visit website